Drought Update: Winter Storms Hit the Nation
Summary: Over the last seven days, much of the eastern United States has received some precipitation, with the greatest amounts at the end of the period over portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, where up to 3 inches of rain was recorded.
Portions of the central Plains and Midwest recorded light precipitation from Nebraska and Iowa into South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where amounts were generally less than 1 inch and most fell on unfrozen soils. This allowed for good infiltration into the top layers of the profile.
An active pattern continued in the Pacific Northwest, where precipitation amounts of 2 to 4 inches were common along the coast and several feet of snow fell in the upper elevations. Central Arizona also received some good rain over several days with amounts from 1.5 to 3 inches.
Looking Ahead: Over the next five days (Dec. 19-23) the weather pattern should stay active, with multiple storm systems impacting the country. A vigorous system will be moving out of the Plains and into the Midwest and Great Lakes region and finally into New England over the next five days. Precipitation amounts are expected to be in the 0.50 to 2.40 inch range, with the greatest amounts expected over New England.
A second system will be coming into the Pacific Northwest with projected precipitation amounts of up to 9.00 inches in southern Oregon and northern California along the coast.
Temperatures during this time look to be above normal over much of the eastern half of the country and below normal along the west coast. Extremes will range from 9 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in Oklahoma and Arkansas to 6 degrees Fahrenheit below normal in southern Oregon.
The CPC 6-10 day forecast (Dec. 24-28) is showing a good chance for below normal temperatures over much of the United States, from the northern Rocky Mountains all the way to the Southeast. The coldest temperatures are expected over the central Plains to Montana. The best chances for temperatures above normal are in Alaska and the northern Great Lakes into New England. The precipitation pattern stays active, but much of the country will have good chances of above normal precipitation, with the best chances over the southeast and Great Basin.